Winging It

As part of my professional and personal development, it was strongly suggested that I step outside my comfort zone and do something that would require me to be patient, trusting and acquiescent of the spotlight.  The suggestion that followed resulted in a lot of scoffing and stomping my feet.  But I eventually went with it.  I took myself to the Washington Improv Theater‘s free improv workshop.  I was greeted with tiny chairs.

Already hilarious.

The class focused mostly on the main building blocks of improvisational comedy and theater, being aware of your surroudnings, listening and reacting and trusting and working with the team on stage.

We played a lot of theater games to warm up.  I felt pretty good about the first hour.  I was somewhat of a theater diva in highschool and my freshman year of college so it wasn’t a big deal to play the warm up, get to know you, listen carefully games.

My patience was tried immensely when teammates wouldn’t listen to directions or acted out of turn.  There were some excercise where were didn’t receive a lot of direction and, per suggestion, instead of being Madame Bossy Suit, I hung back waiting for other leaders to emerge.  It was super irritating, as in I felt my blood pressure rise.

After the break we played some games which got us on “stage”.  This relaxed me immensely.  It was fun to see everyone perform.  ANd my two times on stage were abysmal, but I tried really hard and so did everyone else, which in the end was awesome.

Will I go back?  No.  I was way outside of my comfort zone.  I’m gregarious and quasi entertaining but not in a structured way like improv.  I think I’ll be looking for other ways to challenge myself.  Like actually listening to MB when he tells me about the lab {jk — though not really).

As an aside, on the way to the rehearsal space I popped in at Busboys and Poets, which in short is an amazing book store + restaurant that MB is now dying to go to.

Happening upon this restaurant was poignant because at my bachelorette party I may or may not have befriended who we thought was the owner and told him I would totally be marrying him if MB weren’t so darn perfect for me.  Classy, LNRB.

Have you ever done something like improv to purposefully put yourself out there?

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One thought on “Winging It

  1. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do this. Every once in awhile (probably every few years) I like to do something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. In college, albino agnostic Erin (that’s me) joined a black Christian stomp group and performed on stage in front of a thousand people (probably an exaggeration). It was just one performance, but the 2 months of rehearsals really pushed me far outside of my comfort zone. I was the minority and there were prayer circles. Fascinating. My newest leap from my comfort zone was blogging. I was so scared, and still am most times I hit “publish post” – but it is exhilarating having a creative outlet. Just like I talked about blogging for years before I tried, I’ve also been talking for years about doing an improv or comedy weekend. I am not funny. That is a fact. But it would challenge me. I also constantly talk/think about running a marathon – I don’t know if that will ever happen, but the improv may! Way to go – super impressive!!!

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